Your cup of coffee could cause an explosion
As I took the first sip of my coffee this morning, I couldn't help but think about this irresistible bean. They say that coffee improves your mood. Who wouldn't like working all day in an environment with coffee aromas in the air. Heavenly, isn't it? No it isn't. In fact, it's a very risky place.
Caution: Danger of dust explosion!
A production facility that receives, stores, processes or handles raw agricultural materials such as coffee is a high-risk industry as they often produce powdered and dust-like particles during the production process. 80% of all dusts, which are found in industries, are combustible in a closed space, even a layer of 1 mm dust is sufficient to trigger an explosion, after dust is stirred up and ignited.
In order to regulate and facilitate the selection of appropriate electrical apparatus to be used in hazardous areas, they are classified in to zones. Zone classification reflects the likelihood of the occurrence of an explosive atmosphere. The higher the probability of occurrence, the higher the demands on the equipment used there.
Here are top 5 things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of combustible dust and dust explosions.
- Know that most dusts are combustible.
A combustible dust is any fine material that has the ability to catch fire and explode when mixed with air. Even if the dust is from a supposed non-combustible material (e.g. an iron bar), it can burn or explode if the particles are the right size and in the right concentration.
- Choose approriate electrical equipment and proper erection.
Proper electrical equipment that is approved for use in hazardous areas as per the specific zone is crucial to eliminating a common ignition source. It's also important to maintain proper erection, to prevent sources of ignition in the installation.
- Inspect for dust buildup regularly.
Dust can collect on any horizontal surface such as beams, roofs, suspended ceilings, ducts and other equipment. The build-up of even a very small amount of dust can cause serious damage as it can trigger an explosion under certain conditions.
- Avoid sources of ignition.
Make sure that no ignition sources arise in the potentially explosive area. This includes, among other things, obvious sources of ignition, such as using open flames when smoking or non-explosion-proof inspection lamps with flexible cables. But less obvious ignition sources, such as static electricity, can also cause an explosion. Therefore, pay close attention to the selection of equipment, plastic signs and work clothing.
- Education and training.
Make sure your employees are aware of dust hazards, follow housekeeping rules, and take steps to reduce dust and remove ignition sources. Develop a culture of safety by encouraging employees to report any unsafe practices.
With these tips & tricks, we can all ensure a safe and healthy working environment for our favourite coffee making industries, so you can continue enjoying your coffee without worrying about possible explosions.